Possible work - Help!: I have a chat/interview with... - Headway


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Possible work - Help!

Annie-2 profile image

I have a chat/interview with a possible employer tomorrow afternoon who knows I had a brain injury accident two years ago.  I am SO scared and confused and really feel like I don't want to go (even though I sent my CV to my friend to share with him!). The CEO was lovely when I spoke to him and wants me to shadow him and do what ever I feel able to do, but I just don't know if I am up to ever working again and I am scared I will take on too much.  I feel confused and  a bit stupid to have arranged it in the first place  as I am still recovering, it was just that the organisation really interests me.   😞

19 Replies

No, not stupid - brave !  :-) 

Go along - try to stay calm - chat - you don't have to stay forever or say yes to a job. It sounds like a nice way to introduce yourself to the possibility. You never know - you may like it so much you can't wait to go again .... and just try to have a positive experience. You may find just what you are looking for .... if not, then you have had a good chat and a look into another world. 

Even if it's a "no" - for whatever reason I think you would feel worse if you don't go to find out ..... 

This time tomorrow the world may be different place for the better for you .....  

Good luck ! :-) 

If you feel you can't take on the job then ask if you could volunteer for a while to find your feet and to ease you into a working environment before being tied to a position. A bit like work experience I suppose. 

I started off doing an hour a day, it sounds like nothing but it was more than enough to start with. I gradually increased my hours until I was working 20-25 hours on a temporary contract. I didn't get paid when I wasn't in work and that made life difficult at times. I now work 30 hours and have a better contract with paid holidays and sick days. 

I never imagined I could go back to work, I was scared to fail, I was terrified of not being responsible enough and letting people down. I think I was my own worst enemy to begin with.

You have nothing to lose and can learn a lot about your limits. Go and try it, see where it takes you :)

Sounds like a brilliant opportunity - don't miss it. Keep at the front of your mind that you've been invited so it's worth giving it a try. Even if you decide against it later on for what ever reason. Use it as a trial for yourself to see how you feel in the workplace environment.  I know how you feel - I had to go into work recently to speak to management, scary and daunting - but the feeling of achievement afterwards was good. Still not sure if or when I can go back but it was good to just walk through the building once again to remind myself what it looks like & what it is. I'd go for it if I were you, then you'll have something concrete to think about. Good luck x 

Oh Annie, I feel for you.  This is a scary prospect for you after two years away from a work environment.  But it sounds like you've been invited to do as much or as little as you find comfortable so this seems like an unusually sympathetic offer.  

If you allow your panic to get in the way of this opportunity I suspect you'll regret it, and possibly even take an emotional dive afterwards.  Try to get yourself into 'Autopilot' mode and just go through the motions as calmly as you can ; I wouldn't mind betting you'd come away exhausted at first, but very proud of what you've achieved.

Don't see it as a matter of succeed or fail, but simply a learning process to help you gauge your general fitness for employment, remembering that it will probably improve with more time and familiarity.

Go for it m'dear ; you might well surprise yourself !   Good luck. xxx

Hi Annie

One great bit of advice that I received through meetings at Headway was to treat situations as if they were a rehearsal. 

I started to do that because I was afraid of failing and I gradually gained confidence. 

My BI was just over 3 years ago and since last September I have been working again (in a much more junior role than before) by approaching things as a rehearsal, my colleagues as friends and it's going really well. 

Good luck with whatever you choose to do. 


I started a new role a few weeks ago as a GP receptionist.  Way down the ladder from what I used to do but heh ho.  All I would say is 2.5 hours twice a week is plenty for now!  I had also looked at an 18h p/w job.  Thank god I didn't get it, I would have crashed and burned.  

Good advice above, start slowly.  Job induction was always a tough few weeks/months.  Return after BI is a lot and you must pace yourself well.  

this sounds like a great opportunity. I can understand your fears around this me being asked to volunteer some time ago after the first step, found I enjoyed what I am doing and am being encouraged to do basic qualifications relevant to this area of work. So could lead to a paid position but for the moment I'm content volunteering as I dont feel pressured. Good Luck whatever you choose to do.

In the interview, I would mention that with your BI, it's quite important for you to have little breaks every so often. 

Like a cell phone, you want to keep your battery charged. Never go flat, and then you should be able to keep going. 

Good luck, and all the best!


Is it a Personal Assistant type role ?

When I had one, it was absolutly brilliant. It wasn't the hard difficult tasks that really helped but some of the routine every day ones like sorting out the mail,  collection on the bits and pieces for my timesheets / expenses etc. 

What I found as well was that my PA didn't have to be around all the time or work regular hours to be really useful. Sometime the best thing was after a day of dealing with issues / problems was to get an email or call at then end of the day that mopped up all the trivia (but important trivia) that I would never have got around to.

So I would go for it, noting to lose have you and you may be making someone elses life easier

Good luck

Hey it's brill now,,,,,, why did you do this ? Subconsciously you wanted to. You don't get the job ? It was the wrong time buy did try and next time it will be easier. Then you can look on it as thank god, didn't really want it after applying. You could end up getting it and it be life changing for you. Getting out the house, meeting friends, making money. It would keep your mind active and if it all turns out it's too much at mo you will know you can move forward when u ready you may just to let yourself have a bit longer. More guts than me mind. Best of luck x

Go for it! start youre journey back to new normal xx good luck 

Hi everyone-thank you SO much for all your lovely comments. 

I decided not to go in the end-head was all over the place.  I did email the CEO and hopefully he will understand!    

I feel a bit of a failure really, particularly as I know I should have gone.   I just so wanted to get back some element of that old me', but I know deep down that's not real as the old me has gone and I just can't do the things that I used to do. 😞

I suddenly thought about all the negatives and the noises in my head took over!   I know I push myself too hard most of the time and just keep forgetting that I am still recovering, receiving treatment and adapting -same old me-running before I can walk!  Maybe I just need more time 😞

Thank you everyone x x 

RecoveringH profile image
RecoveringH in reply to Annie-2

You have reminded me of an interview I did a few years back.  I had wowed up my CV, felt I had spent long enough being ill, felt it must be time to be working, the bank account was telling me so, was through a friend, got a telephone interview with international company in USA.  Ever so excited, prepared for interview, thought I can do this.  Noticed the telephone interview wasn't going smoothly, some big blank pauses on the part of the interviewer.  Put phone down thinking, I wonder how I did. It suddenly dawned on me that I had forgotten to mention major experiences in relation to key questions.  I suddenly remembered my memory didn't work so well anymore! LoL I had forgotten that I had a bad memory LoL.  I went and put the kettle on.  That is when I started playing scrabble.  That is when I discovered I couldn't spell words properly!  Vocab related to more historical memories was gone. That is when I realised, OMG, I'm not ready for work!  I cant write! LoL.  It sounds so silly looking back.  I really thought I was all guns blazing ready for a 5 day working week!  Haha.  That is when I sought to find out how much a psychological return to work assessment might be to highlight to myself other gap areas.  It was too expensive.  So I didn't do one.  Instead I continued to focus on eating, resting, exercising and managing steady emotional mindset - that became my full time job while relearning my vocabulary on the computer scrabble.  Had a mock interview for another job - really useful.  I was told I stuttered.  Not EVEN AWARE that I did LoL  I must have sounded a right ninny on the telephone interview, stuttering, forgetting and leaving long pauses between statements.  So moral of story is : trust your instinct.  Don't rush back to work too soon.  It will come when you area ready.  Person who gave me a psychological assessment quote told me as much - said the common problem is going back too early, so be happy, well done you for listening to your inner voice.  Continue to work on your weaker areas and ride the mare steady!  Try meditation to manage the negative noise - neutralise it if its unhelpful to progress.  Catch a negative thought and instantly replace it with a picture of your favourite flower bringing feeling of peace and calm :)

All the Best, lucky you to get an interview though!

Annie-2 profile image
Annie-2 in reply to RecoveringH

Thank you so much for all the responses-greatly appreciated.   All comments taken on board and I intend to learn from this experience and move forward in a more positive way-just been a bit down lately and feeling a bit sorry for myself! 

Onwards and upwards! 😏 X X 

Candace8 profile image
Candace8 in reply to Annie-2

Sounds like it was just too earlier. Give yourself a bit longer, or a lot longer. Sounds like you need to build confidence up too. It will come to you x

Ah - shame you didn't just go for an informal chat - maybe you could rearrange soon. 

Many of us are not the "same" people we were before but a feeling of reborn (without any religious connotations) and needing to learn some new ways of being.... 

Don't beat yourself up about it but perhaps you could even ask them to visit you / meet more informally ? 

Chin up - onwards ! xx 

Go for it. Be yourself and dont try and hide any problems.

Any employer willing to help in this way is a great find. Just be honest and rest if you need to and ask to repeat where needed.

Good luck and knock their socks off.


I just read your update saying that you decided not to go along after all. Only you can know how you're feeling, and only you can decide about when to take the next step......and although you chose not to go this time, So pleased that you listened to yourself and your body and acted upon that. I'm still really bad at that, causing more problems for myself unnecessarily. That in itself is a big skill......one you've obviously mastered  - so well done. Good luck with your recovery.

Hi Annie,

Sorry you felt unable to go, in the end . It can be a big step and difficult to judge after 2 years away from the world of work. Have you considered any type of voluntary work ? Less formal, less pressure and could be a good confidence builder. It could help to identify any difficulties, allowing you to try out new methods of working with them and will  highlight your natural strengths and talents too. Maybe you could write a list of what you consider are your pros and cons. I can think of 2 things already to put under the 'pros' heading - you have motivation , to have shown an interest in this company,plus your written communication is excellent. : )

Kind regards,

Angela x

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